Hidden Calories in Beverages
Most people would assume that a latté, non-fat, no whip would be low in calories. But no! The count for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, non-fat, no whip, venti at Starbucks is 330 calories. That latte’s lots of calories come from 7 teaspoons of sugar and 14 ounces of skim milk. But it could be worse: the Pumpkin Spice Latte, whole milk, whipped, venti is 510 calories. Beverages can be a surprising source of calories from added sugar and/or alcohol and fat. And those liquid calories go down with such ease that we hardly even notice them.
The Amount We Drink
A report titled, What America Drinks, analyzed data from over 10,000 Americans aged four and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999-2000 and 2001-2002. It found that beverages account for 22 percent of calories in the average American diet. On any given day, nearly 50 percent of American kids and adults drink at least one sugary soft drink (aka soda.) When soft drink intake is averaged across the whole population (including non-consumers), intake is 12 fluid ounces per day, but soda drinkers average 24 fluid ounces. Teenage boys drink the most soda, 31 fluid ounces on an average day.
Didn't See It Coming
When people drink their calories, they do not normally compensate by eating less. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, Richard Mattes, Purdue University professor of foods and nutrition, gave 15 normal-weight men and women an extra 450 calories a day as either a liquid (three 12-ounce cans of soda) or a solid (45 large jelly beans) for four weeks each. He explained the study's results to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “When they (the research subject) got the solid food, they ate less at other times, so they adjusted for all of the calories.” In contrast, “when they got the liquid food, they just added those calories to their customary diet. They didn’t compensate at all.” He concluded that liquid calories simply aren’t as filling as solid calories. It may be because liquids lack the filling power of fiber and/or they leave the stomach too fast for the brain to respond and react. Although, thick liquids, such as shakes, register better than do thin liquids.
You might want to clue your family and friends into to the problem with beverages - other than water. First, the calorie counts are off the charts, and then, their empty calories aren’t filling. Check out the calories in a 20 fluid ounce serving of the beverages on this list. Soda and soft drinks are typically sold in 20 ounce bottles, and drinks served in little glasses, like eggnog, can easily add up to 20 ounces over the course of a day.
- Coca-Cola Classic 243 calories
- Red Bull Energy Drink 265 calories
- Chick-fil-A Iced Tea 230 calories
- Gatorade Performance Series Energy Drink 516 calories
- Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red 300 calories
- Orange Juice 280 calories
- Cranberry Juice 340 calories
- Dunkin Donuts Coffee with Cream and Sugar 240 calories
- Starbucks Hot Chocolate With Whipped Cream, Whole Milk 551 calories
- Odwalla Superfood Micronutrient Fruit Juice Drink 325 calories
- Jamba Juice Banana Berry Power 433 calories
- Eggnog 860 calories
- Beer, Regular 260 calories
- Wine, Table, Red 500 calories
- Margarita 1000 calories
- TGI Friday's Mudslide Orange Dream Frozen Cocktail 1411 calories
- McDonald's Chocolate Triple Thick Shake 733 calories
Have you been caught off-guard by the hidden calories in beverages?
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